By Mark Jurgena
Three senior athletes from the Collinsville boys track & field squad competed at the IHSA Class 3A state meet on June 19th at Eastern Illinois University.
Tyrez Rogers, Chris Garcia-Cloud, and Theo Paxton all qualified out of the Bloomington sectional.
Rogers had the most success at the meet. In the high jump he cleared two heights before narrowly bowing out on his third attempt at 1.95 meters (6’ 4¾”).
“All three of the athletes being the first time to the state meet,” began coach Darryl Frerker. “Anybody that’s been there before knows that it’s a big show and the nerves are running rampant.”
Rogers cleared his opening height of 1.85 meters (6’ 0 ¾”) on his first attempt. He had more difficulty clearing the qualifying height of 1.90 meters (6’ 2 ¾”) however he was successful on his third and final attempt.
“He was able to settle down and get a good jump in on his third one,” said Frerker. “He actually tipped the bar a little bit but it stayed on so that was awesome and matched his personal record.
“I was very proud of him to match his PR at an event like that.”
Frerker indicated he had two great efforts at 1.95 meters (6’ 4 ¾”) but couldn’t quite clear the bar.
“Unfortunately the last one was his best one but just caught the bar and it wobbled just enough to flop off but had a great attempt at it.”
Rogers finished tied for 12th place at the meet
In the discus, Garcia-Cloud finished in 18th place with a best toss of 41.97 meters (137’ 8”).
“The bottom line is Chris did not have his best day,” said Frerker. “He had a couple of great tosses in warmups, he was a little bit more relaxed. But then, for the first time, you’ve got this huge crowd that you are facing as you get ready to throw. Also the hoopla that surrounds the state meet…and the muscles tense up a little bit and you end up throwing not as well as you hope to.”
The final Kahok to compete was Paxton. He set several personal bests throughout the season but just couldn’t quite manage one at state.
“In his alley he was the second guy in a great position,” said Frerker. “It was a great position to be in and just kind of relax along that backstretch. As the first alley runners came up on them at the cut line, he just kind of filtered back; he basically kept his pace. He did a fantastic job just to get there (to state).”
Frerker was pleased with his team during this IHSA “summer” season.
“Overall I was very pleased with the season,” he said. “I wasn’t overly excited about extending our season three weeks into June. But the guys that stuck around and were dedicated and committed to finish the season on some personal records have definitely been the most enjoyable part of the season. I’m just happy we were able to get it in.”